Lutz Hübner, CMO of the BWT Group, said that with his many years of personal commitment to water Ernst Bromeis is a role model for lots of people and BWT was delighted to be his Lake Baikal expedition partner. That he has had to stop the BWT Lake Baikal expedition on health grounds is a great pity and extremely regrettable.
The Lake Baikal Expedition will start in Kultuk at the south-westerly end of the lake. From there, Ernst Bromeis will make his 900-kilometre-long way along the southern shores. His destination is the city of Nizhneangarsk at the northern tip of Lake Baikal.
During the first two thirds of his journey, Ernst Bromeis will be able to eat and sleep on land. But for the last 300 kilometres, steep cliffs, wild bears and, not least, the 60-kilometre-wide delta of the Selanga River render this option impossible. Instead, Ernst Bromeis will have a 10-kilogram raft in tow which will double as his sleeping place and floating carrier for clothes, a tent, equipment and provisions.
How does one prepare for a 900-kilometre swimming expedition? An increasingly self-sufficient expedition on which you swim and fight with and against yourself, with and against the water.
One crucial point is to economise the swimming style. In order to get ahead as efficiently as possible with as little effort as possible. The preparation programme included countless technical training sessions and swimming lessons, including "tile counting" in the indoor swimming pool and "open water" training sessions. However, they hardly added up to more than three to four of the up to ten weekly trainings. Because the more monotonous the target requirements, the more versatile the training should be: cross-country skiing, roller skiing, racing bikes, mountain bikes, running, strength training, skiing, hiking ... – continuously new stimuli, always adapted to the target requirements, such as infinitely long roller–ski push intervals, sometimes uphill. In between there were performance tests to check the progress of the preparations and, above all, to optimally adjust of the exercise load.
Various expeditions have proven time and again that we were on the right track. Competitions such as the Trans Swiss Triathlon, with runs over different distances, or cross-country races served to determine locations and as stations to check forms. The Engadin Skimarathon was one of the best ever – it gave us the certainty and confidence of being optimally prepared. This is particularly important because the mental aspect is always especially crucial. Thus, working on it was one of the big tasks. Days of cross-country skiing in the Engadine, swim trainings on the rough Walensee or bike tours lasting several days were supposed to pave the way to the eventual week of strain without requiring too much substance, both mentally and physically - and still strengthen the conviction of being able to make it and being well-prepared.
We have given everything. Doing what you can using the current state of knowledge and with all the experiences gathered so far. Conscientious, professional, serious, with an unrestrained will, everything secondary to the goal "Baikal". We have been actively supported by world-renowned professionals from all fields with their rich experience: Christof Mannhart, nutrition scientist; Walter Kistler and Michael Villiger, sports scientists and performance diagnosticians; Gunther Frank, swimming mentor and technology specialist; Martina Friedli, physical therapist.